The Pros and Cons of Oil-Based Cabinet Refinishing

Many homeowners opt for oil-based cabinet refinishing because itโ€™s a popular, quick and affordable option. But is it really the best solution for your home? In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of oil-based cabinet refinishing so you can make an informed decision. From the environmental impact to labor costs and more, read on to learn everything you need to know before choosing this option for your home.

What is Oil-Based Cabinet Refinishing?

Oil-based cabinet painting is a process of restoring the original finish on wood or other materials using an oil-based solution. This method is less expensive and more environmentally friendly than other refinishing methods, such as polyurethane or lacquer.

The most common type is called “oil rubdown.” In this process, the oil is applied to the surface to be polished with a cloth or a pad. The oil will then spread throughout the pores in the wood and create a new finish. This method is slower than other refinishing methods, but it produces a better result because it allows the wood to absorb more of the oil.

Another popular type of is called “wet sanding.” In this process, fine-grit sandpaper is wetted before being applied to the surface to be polished. The water helps spread the sandpaper around, and it removes any unwanted oils and epoxy drips that may have formed on the surface. This method is faster than oil rubdown, but it produces a rougher finish.

It can be done on any type of wood or other material, including laminate surfaces. It’s also possible to use this method to restore finishes on furniture that has been damaged by water or other liquids.


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Oil-based refinishing is one of the most popular ways to update an old or tired cabinet. It can be a relatively easy and affordable way to freshen up a piece of furniture, and it doesnโ€™t require any special skills or tools.

Long-lasting & Affordable

One of the pros is that it is a long-lasting process. This type of refinishing can last for years, depending on the quality of the sealant and the care taken during the refinishing process. This is in contrast to other types of refinishing, which may only last for a few months or weeks.

Another pro of oil-based cabinet refinishing is that it is a low-cost option. It is typically less expensive than other types of refinishing. This is because oil-based products are less expensive than their counterparts that use other types of chemicals. Additionally, many of them are available in spray form, which makes them easy to use and reduces the amount of time required to complete the job.

Good Wood Grain Coverage

One of the biggest benefits of oil-based cabinet refinishing is the good wood grain coverage it can provide. This is because oil-based paints are very thick and cover a wide area quickly, which means that any imperfections or rough spots on the surface of the wood are covered up. This is great news for people who want to refinish their cabinets without having to worry about any big defects appearing later on.

Environmentally friendly

Compared to other finishing options available, oil-based refinishing is considered environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require any special equipment or harsh chemicals. Plus, most oils used in refinishing are safe for use around children and pets.

Withstands Scrubbing and Cleaning

Oil-based cabinet refinishing is a great option for cabinets that are often difficult to clean. This type of refinishing can resist scrubbing and cleaning, making it a good choice for cabinets that have sticky or oily substances inside them. Additionally, oil-based refinishing is a durable option that can last for many years without needing to be replaced.

Only Require Few Coating

If you are refinishing your cabinets with oil-based products, you will only need a few coats to achieve the desired finish. This is in contrast to other Cabinet Refinishing Methods such as sanding and staining, which may require many coats. The process of applying will be affordable and fast.


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Oil-based cabinet refinishing is a popular option for home improvement projects because it can be completed quickly and requires few tools. However, this restoration method has several drawbacks that may make it less desirable than other options.

Takes a Longer to Dry

The first disadvantage is that oil-based cabinet refinishing takes longer to dry than other restoration methods. This can lead to moisture damage in the wood, which can cause defects such as warping or cracking. Additionally, if the oil used to coat the surface of the cabinets drips onto the surfaces below, it can create a hazardous mess.

Limited Choice of Color

Most oil-based refinishing services only offer a limited color palette, usually five or six shades. If you want a different color than what is available, you may have to go with a more expensive option or use a different type of finish.

Difficult to Remove

This type of refinishing uses oil as a key ingredient, it can be difficult to remove later if necessary.

How to Choose the Right Product

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There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a product for your cabinet refinishing project.

First, make sure the product you choose is safe for use on wood. Some products contain solvents or other chemicals that can damage your cabinets.

Second, be sure to read the instructions carefully before starting your project. Many products require special care while refinishing your cabinets, like using a specific type of finish or applying the product in a certain way.

And finally, be prepared to spend some time and money on your cabinet refinishing project. There are many different types of products available, and each one will require its own specific technique and supplies.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to refinish your cabinet doors but are feeling a little apprehensive about the process, don’t worry! If you follow these steps carefully and use quality products, you’ll be able to achieve an amazing look with minimal effort. So pick up a can of paint and get started โ€” it’s definitely worth it!

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